We went non-stop from Phoenix to Honolulu on Hawaiian. Love the wide body jets. Left at 8 am and arrived at noon. We had arranged for Robert's to meet us at the airport. They did a great job and were there waiting. Only a small shuttle and 3 or 4 stops before us as we were at Park Shore Waikiki- the far end. It maybe took 1/2 hour. The Park Shore is more like a Motel 6 but clean and we had the cheapest room which we weren't in much.
We rented a car at Budget which we had a 10 minute walk to from the hotel. Drove up to the Polynesian Cultural Center which takes about 75 min. The Center is great and we enjoyed the very entertaining show at the Samoan village. We went to the luau which had GREAT food. I have been to a few luaus because of Polynesian friends and the food was so good and authentic. If people say it was bad, they perhaps aren't used to that type of food. The evening show was very good and we were out at 9pm. The next morning we took back the car at ate breakfast at Lulu's which is on the 1st floor of the Park Shore. All I can say is- Macadamia nut banana pancakes- possibly the best thing on the whole trip!! Mark 23 picked us up at 11 and we were at the pier at 11:30. Basically waited a half hour and walked right on.
We were able to go to the room at 2:00. Had lunch in the buffet. It seems not many know about the area out back which is lovely and not ever crowded. I thought the food in the buffet was good, some more than others, but if you can't find something you like out of the 40-50 items, I'm not sure what you're going to eat. We ate in the Lazy J 1 night and Jefferson's Bistro 1 night. The best meal we had was in the Liberty on Wed. which was prime rib night. We were in and out in 1 hour. Went at 6 and they had already opened due to the line and we had no wait. My prime rib was perfect, better than steak house, and our service was excellent-also onion soup was great,too.
I was going to keep a journal but didn't so everything seems to run together. Our room was a balcony right above the lifeboats. I get vertigo and have a fear of heights and this was the perfect spot. Straight down -lifeboats-out a little- the ocean and a beautiful view. The room was great and our room steward, Roberto, was excellent. He said he has been doing this 19 years. Everything was spotless daily, clean towels, cute animals and he always asked if we needed anything and have a great day! CC is great to know all the nooks and crannies. We had 2 drawers we didn't even use. I can't stress enough how much we sat on the balcony and watched the ocean go by. We had no complaints about our neighbors, either with smoke or noise. We only went to 2 evening shows so we could sit on the balcony. If I couldn't afford one, I would go anyway(have had oceanview and inside before) but I loved this cabin.
We went to Bud Anderson the comedian and we each said we have never seen our spouse laugh so hard. I could have watched him every night. The lady behind us was losing it so it made us laugh even more. I'm not much of a complainer, as you can see, but the Franki Valli impersonators had a good show but I'm sorry, the microphone was up too loud and a lot of the high notes cracked. I'm sure others may disagree with me. It certainly didn't take away from the cruise, just my personal feedback and something that could be easily fixed.
We went on 2 Robert's tours and 2 with NCL. Everyone has the tour thing down pat. We did the NCL because we didn't want to be late but Robert's has a disclaimer that they have never been late getting back and if you miss the ship they will fly you to your next port. We also did Ricky's tour in Hilo. He is great and has lived there 22 years. There were only 6 of us in his 12 passenger van and it was probably my favorite. It hits all the same spots as NCL and Robert's on the VNP- orchid farm-Hilo highlights-Mac nut farm etc. I am going to do a more detailed review of the entire vacation on the Hawaii board but had to rest up from my vacation and then company! We did the walk off anytime disembarkation and left about 8:20 to catch the Robert's bus to the airport. DH wants to go back and do other tours next time. I guess that means a good time was had by all!!